Egypt Protests: Government urged to restore Internet to the people

Recently we have been reporting on the growing unrest in Egypt and social media connections to that. Back in November before parliamentary elections we told how some popular Facebook pages opposing the government in Egypt had been removed and then just 2 days ago reported how popular social networking site Twitter, had now been blocked in Egypt.

As we noted on the Twitter revolution in Tunisia, social networking has allowed people to plan and co-ordinate demonstrations with immediacy and a wider reach than ever before. As we are seeing increasing uprising and violence in Egypt every day against President Hosni Mubarek’s government, sadly it’s no surprise that the Egyptian government have now removed people’s access to Twitter and also Facebook and has now shut down the Internet completely and even some landline and mobile operations.

Hillary Clinton is now urging the government in Egypt to restore services according to a report on Metro. The US Secretary of State said “We urge the Egyptian authorities to allow peaceful protests and to reverse the unprecedented steps it has taken to cut off communications,” adding that the government should respect people’s basic human rights. Demonstrations yesterday resulted in some deaths and many injuries from conflict between protestors and the police and also the army. For the latest news on what’s happening in Egypt today head to BBC News which is reporting another day of clashes even though President Mubarek has attempted to alleviate the situation by pledging to appoint a new cabinet.

What are your thoughts on the Egyptian government blocking the use of the Internet and therefore social networking sites? Do you consider this to be an infringement of human rights? We’d welcome your thoughts on this so please do send us your comments.

  • Pacifier

    This is only the last drop. And I think it won't help the government to spread desired propaganda to mislead demonstrators. Volume of demonstration is too big for that, and clearly shows that people are determined this time. They can not be stopped any more. Question is how many shall be killed before they reach their goal.

    Before killing there was chance for president to leave in peace and live in high luxury somewhere else. Now could be the last moment, with expressed regret for victims.

    Otherwise people will want his head (number of such is growing already) and no police or army shall be able to stop them any more.

    (I'm not Egyptian, I just see the situation from an experienced 50 years old man's point of view.)

  • Willow

    I have very good friends in Cairo and I haven't heard from them for days. This is a horrible violation, to attempt to cut off these human beings from the rest of the world. There are thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of people in Egypt with loved ones in other countries that I'm sure they would love to communicate with right now. I don't know if my friends are safe in their apartment or out in the streets or among the dead or injured. I've experienced days of terror as I've watched this story unfold on TV and the internet and to cut off their internet service is just cruel.

    I hope that awful man is pleased with himself now. He will die with the knowledge that he was hated by millions.

  • Amnestyintenational

    There’s nothing deterministic about these tools — Gutenberg’s press, or fax machines or Facebook. They can be used to promote human rights or to undermine human rights.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apUtmzbx3vo